Canonical set to bring ZFS improvements over the coming Ubuntu cycles

Canonical has announced that beginning with Ubuntu 19.10, it will begin improving the state of the ZFS file system to make it more practical for desktop users. Ubuntu 19.10 will be the first release with improvements but it’ll be a multi-cycle effort until a time when Canonical feels that it’s production-ready.

In the first place, Canonical wants to make improvements to Ubuntu’s ZFS support for it to work better on the desktop. In its announcement, the firm said further down the road it’d like to bring it to server releases, presumably when the technology is more mature. Although improvements will be available with Ubuntu 19.10, Canonical warns not to use it on production systems because data may get erased at any time.

Outlining the new improvements to ZFS on Ubuntu implemented so far, Canonical said:

  • We are shipping ZFS On Linux version 0.8.1, with features like native encryption, trimming support, checkpoints, raw encrypted zfs transmissions, project accounting and quota and a lot of performance enhancements.
  • We backported (and will continue to backport) some post-release upstream fixes as they fit, to provide the best user experience and reliability.
  • We added support in the GRUB menu.

According to the firm, those who upgrade to Ubuntu 19.10 with an existing Ubuntu installation, that uses ZFS, will automatically get the new improvements.

Ubuntu currently uses the Ext4 file system by default and has done so since the release of Ubuntu 9.10 in 2009. One of the principal developers of Ext4, Theodore Ts’o, has previously described it as a conservative short-term solution until something more suitable, like ZFS, is ready for use.

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